An 11-year-old British boy experienced a very “lucky escape” after a tablet burned his mattress down to the springs, but thankfully never developed into a full-on fire while he was sleeping.
According to firefighters, the tablet – which had been connected to the power since the evening before – was plugged into a genuine charger, however, that became hot while it was laying on bed on the night of June 19th.
“Fortunately for the family, it did not develop into a full fire but had smoldered throughout the night,” a statement by the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service revealed. “When the boy awoke the next morning, he discovered the hole in his bed, and his room was covered in a layer of black soot.”
The fire department showed off a picture of the tablet, which was black and melted down into an oblong area on one side of the bed. The cable seemed to have melted into the rest of the device.
The fire department did not directly reveal the brand name of the tablet, but said that the family had mentioned it had been purchased as brand new four years ago.
The fire department has also confirmed that the tablet burned through to the springs of the mattress.
The boy’s father called the fire services after he made the discovery in the morning.
“This family has been greatly shocked by what has happened and it serves as a stark reminder not to leave items charging on materials that could catch fire when hot,” Staffordshire firefighter Brad Robins said.
He also added, “Always place phones and tablets on to a safe surface when charging. Make sure you buy genuine chargers for your items and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to register your product in case there is a product recall.”
But the potential dangers of smart phones or tablets left plugged in overnight – which are often in or near the bed – isn’t limited to just overheating if the wrong cables are used.
With smartphone and tablet ownership rising over the past decade, there have been more stories appearing in recent years of electrocution via smartphone chargers – especially among teenagers.